Glycogen is a polymer of glucose residues linked by (1 4) glycosidic bonds, mainly (1 6) glycosidic bonds, at branch points. Glycogen chains & branches are longer than shown.
Glycogen Phosphorylase catalyzes phosphorolytic cleavage of the (1 4) glycosidic linkages of glycogen, releasing glucose-1-phosphate as reaction product. glycogen (n residues) + P i glycogen (n–1 residues) + glucose-1-phosphate This phosphorolysis may be compared to hydrolysis: Hydrolysis: R-O-R' + HOH R-OH + R'-OH Phosphorolysis: R-O-R' + HO-PO 3 2- R-OH + R'-O-PO 3 2- Glycogen catabolism (breakdown):
Pyridoxal phosphate (PLP), a derivative of vitamin B 6, serves as prosthetic group for Glycogen Phosphorylase.
Pyridoxal phosphate (PLP) is held at the active site of Phosphorylase enzyme by a Schiff base linkage, formed by reaction of the aldehyde of PLP with the -amino group of a lysine residue.
In contrast to the role of this cofactor in other enzymes, the phosphate of PLP is involved in acid/base catalysis by Phosphorylase. The P i substrate binds between the phosphate of PLP and the glycosidic O linking the terminal glucose residue of the glycogen. After the phosphate substrate donates H + during cleavage of the glycosidic bond, it receives H + from the phosphate moiety of PLP. PLP then takes back the H + as the phosphate O attacks C1 of the cleaved glucose to yield glucose-1-phosphate.
A glucose analog, N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), is adjacent to pyridoxal phosphate at the active site in the crystal structure shown. Glycogen Phosphorylase: A homodimeric enzyme, subject to allosteric control. It transitions between “relaxed” (active) & “tense” (inhibited) conformations. DiagramDiagram comparing relaxed and tense conformations.
Question: Why would an inhibitor of Glycogen Phosphorylase be a suitable treatment for diabetes? A class of drugs developed for treating the hyperglycemia of diabetes (chloroindole- carboxamides), inhibit liver Phosphorylase allosterically. These inhibitors bind at the dimer interface, stabilizing the inactive (tense) conformation.
A glycogen storage site on the surface of the Phosphorylase enzyme binds the glycogen particle. Given the distance between storage & active sites, Phosphorylase can cleave (1 4) linkages only to within 4 residues of an (1 6) branch point. This is called a "limit branch". Explore the structure of muscle Glycogen Phosphorylase with Chime.
Debranching enzyme has 2 independent active sites, consisting of residues in different segments of a single polypeptide chain: The transferase of the debranching enzyme transfers 3 glucose residues from a 4-residue limit branch to the end of another branch, diminishing the limit branch to a single glucose residue. The (1 6) glucosidase moiety of the debranching enzyme then catalyzes hydrolysis of the (1 6) linkage, yielding free glucose. This is a minor fraction of glucose released from glycogen. View an animationanimation The major product of glycogen breakdown is glucose-1-phosphate, from Phosphorylase activity.
Phosphoglucomutase catalyzes the reversible reaction: glucose-1-phosphate glucose-6-phosphate A serine OH at the active site donates & accepts P i. The bisphosphate is not released. Phosphoglycerate Mutase has a similar mechanism, but instead uses His for P i transfer. The product glucose-6-phosphate may enter Glycolysis or (in liver) be dephosphorylated for release to the blood.
The reversible Phosphoglucomutase may also convert glucose-6-phosphate glucose-1-phosphate, precursor for glycogen synthesis as well as glycogen breakdown product. Liver Glucose-6-phosphatase catalyzes the following, essential to the liver's role in maintaining blood glucose: glucose-6-phosphate + H 2 O glucose + P i Most other tissues lack this enzyme.
Uridine diphosphate glucose (UDP-glucose) is the immediate precursor for glycogen synthesis. As glucose residues are added to glycogen, UDP-glucose is the substrate and UDP is released as a reaction product. Nucleotide diphosphate sugars are precursors also for synthesis of other complex carbohydrates, including oligosaccharide chains of glycoproteins, etc. Glycogen synthesis
UDP-glucose is formed from glucose-1-phosphate: glucose-1-phosphate + UTP UDP-glucose + PP i PP i + H 2 O 2 P i Overall: glucose-1-phosphate + UTP UDP-glucose + 2 P i Spontaneous hydrolysis of the ~ P bond in PP i (P ~ P) drives the overall reaction. Cleavage of PP i is the only energy cost for glycogen synthesis (one ~ P bond per glucose residue). Glycogenin initiates glycogen synthesis. Glycogenin is an enzyme that catalyzes glycosylation of one of its own tyrosine residues.
A glycosidic bond is formed between the anomeric C1 of the glucose moiety derived from UDP-glucose and the hydroxyl oxygen of a tyrosine side-chain of Glycogenin. UDP is released as a product.
Glycosylation at C4 of the O-linked glucose product yields an O-linked disaccharide with (1 4) glycosidic linkage. UDP-glucose is again the glucose donor. This is repeated until a short linear glucose polymer with (1 4) glycosidic linkages is built up on Glycogenin.
Answer: Some Glycogenin is found associated with glycogen particles (branched glycogen chains) in the cytoplasm, but some is free in the cytosol. Glycogen Synthase then catalyzes elongation of glycogen chains initiated by Glycogenin. Question: Where would you expect to find Glycogenin within a cell?
Glycogen Synthase catalyzes transfer of the glucose moiety of UDP-glucose to the hydroxyl at C4 of the terminal residue of a glycogen chain to form an (1 4) glycosidic linkage: glycogen (n residues) + UDP-glucose glycogen (n +1 residues) + UDP A separate branching enzyme transfers a segment from the end of a glycogen chain to the C6 hydroxyl of a glucose residue of glycogen to yield a branch with an (1 6) linkage.
Both synthesis & breakdown of glycogen are spontaneous. If both pathways were active simultaneously in a cell, there would be a "futile cycle" with cleavage of one ~P bond per cycle (in forming UDP-glucose). To prevent such a futile cycle, Glycogen Synthase and Glycogen Phosphorylase are reciprocally regulated, by allosteric effectors and by phosphorylation.
Glycogen Phosphorylase in muscle is subject to allosteric regulation by AMP, ATP, and glucose-6-phosphate. A separate isozyme of Phosphorylase expressed in liver is less sensitive to these allosteric controls. AMP (present significantly when ATP is depleted) activates Phosphorylase, promoting the relaxed conformation. ATP & glucose-6-phosphate, which both have binding sites that overlap that of AMP, inhibit Phosphorylase, promoting the tense conformation. Thus glycogen breakdown is inhibited when ATP and glucose-6-phosphate are plentiful.
Glycogen Synthase is allosterically activated by glucose-6-phosphate (opposite of the effect on Phosphorylase). Thus glycogen synthesis is activated when glucose-6-phosphate is plentiful. These controls benefit the cell because it is more useful to a cell to store glucose as glycogen when the input to Glycolysis (glucose-6-phosphate), and the main product of Glycolysis (ATP), are adequate.
Regulation by covalent modification (phosphorylation): The hormones glucagon & epinephrine activate cAMP cascades in liver and in muscle, respectively. Both hormones are produced in response to low blood glucose. Epinephrine is also part of the “fight or flight” response.
The cAMP cascade results in phosphorylation of a serine hydroxyl of Glycogen Phosphorylase, which promotes transition to the active (relaxed) state. The phosphorylated enzyme is less sensitive to allosteric inhibitors. Thus, even if cellular ATP & glucose-6-phosphate are high, Phosphorylase will be active. The glucose-1-phosphate produced from glycogen in liver may be converted to free glucose for release to the blood. With this hormone-activated regulation, the needs of the organism take precedence over needs of the cell.
Commonly used terminology: "a" is the form of the enzyme that tends to be active, and independent of allosteric regulators (in the case of Glycogen Phosphorylase, when phosphorylated). "b" is the form of the enzyme that is dependent on local allosteric controls (in the case of Glycogen Phosphorylase when dephosphorylated).
Signal cascade by which Glycogen Phosphorylase is activated.
The cAMP cascade induced in liver by glucagon or epinephrine has the opposite effect on glycogen synthesis. Glycogen Synthase is directly phosphorylated by cAMP-Dependent Protein Kinase, as well as by Phosphorylase Kinase. Phosphorylation of Glycogen Synthase promotes the "b" (less active) conformation. The cAMP cascade inhibits glycogen synthesis. Instead of being converted to glycogen, glucose-1-phosphate in liver may be converted to glucose-6-phosphate, and dephosphorylated for release to the blood.
Ca ++ also regulates glycogen breakdown in muscle. During activation of contraction in skeletal muscle, sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca ++ -release channels open. Ca ++ released to the cytosol activates actin/myosin interactions. Insulin, produced in response to high blood glucose, triggers a separate signal cascade that leads to activation of Phosphoprotein Phosphatase. This phosphatase catalyzes removal of regulatory phosphate residues from Phosphorylase, Phosphorylase Kinase, & Glycogen Synthase enzymes. Thus insulin antagonizes effects of the cAMP cascade induced by glucagon & epinephrine.
Phosphorylase Kinase in muscle includes calmodulin as its subunit. Phosphorylase Kinase is partly activated by binding of Ca ++ to this subunit. Phosphorylation of the enzyme, via a cAMP cascade induced by epinephrine, results in further activation. These regulatory processes ensure release of phosphorylated glucose from glycogen, for entry into Glycolysis to provide ATP needed for muscle contraction.
Glycogen storage diseases are genetic enzyme deficiencies that result in excessive glycogen accumulation within cells. Additional symptoms depend on the particular enzyme that is deficient. Interconnected pathways of glucose metabolism.